As a farmer, whether you’re growing on acres of land or are just trying out on your backyard garden, you need to aim at reducing your impact on the environment. Unfortunately, not many farmers believe in the effectiveness of natural farming and how trusting the natural process can be beneficial to our environment. But today, we are seeing a fraction of a selected few farmers who are appreciating sustainable natural farming, whether on large scale farming or small scale farming.
Soil is one among the many God-given resources that if left to itself, will yield great results. This, however, doesn’t mean that you should stop weeding or dealing with pests in the most natural way, no! It simply means farming in a manner that gives back to the soil naturally.
Worm casting is a natural form of applying organic manure produced by earthworms. Gross, right? Actually, you’ll be surprised at how beneficial this technique is not only on the foods grown, but also on the soil and the environment. In this piece, we’ll be looking at the benefits of worm castings in your garden.
1. Improving the Soil Structure
Worm castings or better still, worm poop, are relatively larger particles in comparison with the soil that when mixed with your garden soil, will work towards diversifying the soil particles while helping to improve the soil structure. Depending on the type of soil you’re dealing with, the soil structure may not have the right water retention capacity, moisture, or aeration. For your information, soil structure affects the depth of roots, plant growth, nutrient cycling, and soil acidity, just to mention a few crucial things in gardening. The guys at Simple Grow Soil point out that worm castings could be the difference between your veggies or garden produce and your neighbor’s. This is because worm castings release key nutrients and minerals needed for plant growth in the soil. In the long run, plants will have prolonged access to moisture, nutrients, and increased microbial activity in the soil which will help to boost plant health.
2. Worm Castings Are a Natural Insect Repellent
Worm castings contain a substance called chitinase. This is an enzyme found in the digestive system of earthworms and chitinase degrade chitin, a substance in the exoskeleton of most insects. As you may be aware, most insects and pests in your garden will be responsible for the visible damage seen on roots, stems, leaves, and fruits. These insects comprise of aphids, plant bugs, and whiteflies to mention but a few. Worm castings, when used properly, can help repel and eradicate these insects.
3. Stimulating Plants Growth
Worm castings contain humic acid that when even in low concentration, helps to stimulate plant growth. Humic acid is easily absorbed by plants and in addition to this, it also helps in the development of microflora organisms in the soil.
On the other hand, worm castings will also help reduce the acidity content in the soil by reducing the acid-forming carbon. In return, this helps to increase nitrogen concentration in the soil, a mineral that can easily be used by plants. Applying worm castings will also help to supply the soil with core nutrients such as zinc, cobalt, manganese, and copper. The best thing is that unlike using chemical fertilizers, worm castings provide your plants with immediate source nutrients that they can use without having to risk damaging or burning the roots.
4. Extracting Toxins from the Soil
Worm castings also help in extracting the toxic materials and organisms found in the soil. The humus in worm castings extracts harmful bacteria and fungi, giving the plants the ability to fight off diseases. This means that you can use worm castings as a means of rehabilitating a garden where chemical compounds were once used.
5. Safe for the Environment
Unlike using commercially sourced fertilizers, worm castings are safe to the environment and in addition to this, they allow organic matter to break faster into nutrient-rich compost. This helps to return vital nutrients to the soil and thus reducing the need for chemical pesticides and fertilizers.
Finally, as the world subjects itself to the idea of going green, we can but hope that more and more farmers will adopt natural farming techniques because this is not only safer to the environment but it’s one way of promoting health. Using natural farming techniques such as worm castings is among the many ways that can help improve food security and boost agriculture.